Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Handmade sketchbook

My talented artist friend, Pat, is always surprising people with her hand-crafted gifts. Recently I was lucky enough to receive another of her handmade watercolour sketchbooks – a prototype for a new method of glued binding she was trying out. On this occasion she had not added a cover so that I would get some idea of how it was put together. I liked the soft-bound quality of the book, but to ensure it didn't begin to look grubby with constant handling I covered it with some of my hand printed paper and added an elastic closure with a loop to hold a small pencil.

A couple of pages had pockets attached for collected ephemera

Pat challenged me to make one of my own from scratch - watch this space.

Friday, 24 June 2016

The Ridgefield pot

My attempt "in the style of ...." was definitely not very successful.  Although Shirley Trevena's work is very bold and colourful, she manages to retain a feeling of watery transluency which I certainly did not achieve.  I never expect to produce anything special at these evening workshops, but I think it is helpful to try out new techniques and styles, as well as see how other participants tackle their chosen subject.  There's always something to learn along the way.

One of the library books I have on loan at the moment is Billy Showell's Botanical Painting in Watercolour.  Apart from the glorious paintings of flowers, fruit and vegetables, she gives very clear  information about how she tackles various aspects of her subject.  I think it is the best book on botanical painting that I have read to date and, although I don't anticipate working in such detail myself, there are plenty of tips which I would find useful in my watercolour painting.

Friday, 17 June 2016

Still Life "in the style of ..."

At our art group evening workshop next week the challenge is to produce a still life “in the style of ….” and we have been given a choice of six well-known artists. Watercolour being one of my favoured mediums, I have chosen Shirley Trevena.

A recent bouquet of lilies from my son, displayed in a rustic pot from America, was the starting point for my sketch – imagination provided the rest. As time is limited at the workshop it helps to plan ahead, so I have my subject drawn on watercolour paper (partly in graphite, partly in watercolour pencil) and for some random pattern I have used a homemade foam stamp with gesso in some areas. The latter should become more obvious once colour washes have been laid over. On the evening it only remains for me to try and emulate the looseness and vibrancy of Shirley's work – that's the hard bit!

Friday, 10 June 2016

Oriental poppy sketch

Some glorious oriental poppies captured before this evening's heavy downpour left them looking rather battered.

Fortunately, there are plenty more buds in waiting and the chance to cut another bloom for a studio study.

Sunday, 5 June 2016

Floral sketches and another booklet

Another booklet - a "thank you" for a gift of some unwanted acrylics.  Plenty of materials for my painted papers.

A couple of small sketches (4" x 6"), fluid acrylics, watercolour and pen.